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Dirt Rider September 2017

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United States
Bonnier Corporation
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access_time3 min.
2.5 factory bike rides

For this issue we got three exclusive rides on two factory bikes. The first two rides were on Zach Osborne’s factory bike; I’ll let you learn more about the reason for two attempts when you read that story. I’m excited we got to ride Zach’s bike for a couple of reasons: where’s he’s been and where he is today. Zach’s been racing professionally since 2006, but when he pointed out of supercross in the US, he headed to Europe. As he’s matured he’s gained speed from racing the MXGPs as well as having an off-road career in there. Then he came back to supercross and motocross in 2012, where he was one of the top guys—but not the top guy. Then something happened in 2017 that’s putting him at the top…

access_time8 min.
the class of 2018

2018 YAMAHA YZ450F • Claimed wet weight of 245 pounds, 2 pounds lighter than previous model • Electric start featuring a lightweight lithium battery • New Mikuni EFIsystem tunable via smartphone app (using Wi-Fi) • New frame with larger upper frame bracing to improve rigidity • New cylinder head casting is angled more vertically to match new frame • New crankshaft paired with updated “box bridge” piston (12.8:1 compression ratio) and DLC wrist pin • Transmission gears revised with a wider surface on gears • Updated clutch plates and stiffer outer pressure plate • Head features longer, straighter intake tract with more aggressive cam profiles • Lighter wheels with redesigned cross-sectional profile • New bodywork and compact 1.6-gallon fuel tank create a narrower knee-grip area • KYB spring-type fork with updated…

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letter of the month

Years ago I bought a brand-new Honda CRF450X and I loved the convenience of an electric start on a very fast and fun bike. Now I own a CRF450R. While I love my lighter and more nimble bike, I do occasionally miss that magic button. I know weight was, is, and always will be at a premium, but where is the balance between weight, cost, and function? KTM and Husqvarna are electric only, and all the Japanese bikes come with a kickstart, while the Honda has an electric add-on option. All these thoughts came to a spearhead as I watched the New Jersey Supercross race. Early in the race Jason Anderson went down while in the lead; as he was picking up his Husqvarna he had his thumb on the electric…

access_time1 min.
the nose knows

Wayne Chumbley, product performance director at Oakley, explains why some riders may prefer the Front Line goggle over the Airbrake as well as what Oakley does to help design a goggle to fit as many helmets, face shapes, and face sizes as possible. “The riders who prefer the Front Line over the Airbrake essentially have unique faces. The riders we tested with who had a little bigger or flatter noses, and wider faces definitely preferred the Front Line a little bit more. We try to be really diligent about testing as many different faces and helmets as we can. We essentially purchase every helmet that’s on the market and do a lot of internal testing and recruit local riders to field test each new model.” 1 POLISPORT PLASTICS Foldable Lift Bike Stand:…

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hot shots

PAT SMAGE clinched his ninth US National MotoTrials title with a 1-2 performance at the final two-day event of the eight-round SWM US National MotoTrials Championship Series in Rhode Island. Last year’s champion, Spaniard Marc Freixa, finished second. In all, Smage won five rounds while Freixa claimed three, though this year’s battle between the two riders couldn’t have been closer. Two events during the season were decided by tiebreakers, and two more were decided by just one point between the two riders.…

access_time11 min.
zach factory osborne’s bike

Three of us repeatedly check weather apps on our smartphones—a silly act, really. We’re so desperate for a shred of sunshine that we’ve stooped this low. Our test rider Nick Evennou, Husqvarna Media Relations Manager Andy Jefferson, and I are looking at three different weather reports all with the same forecast: 100 percent chance of thundershowers for the next 10 days. What’s even crueler is that everyone we’ve spoken to this morning has talked about how dry it has been for the last six weeks. Central Florida has been in a drought, and the shallow lakebeds along the windy route leading to the Bakers’ Factory—the nearly 100-acre training ground for Marvin Musquin, Jason Anderson, Zach Osborne, and other KTM/ Husqvarna riders—are completely dried up. It’s almost 9 a.m. The rain…